Kids & Coding
Looking for a way to keep the kids busy this summer without taking the electronics away? Something to consider - coding! For kids, coding is easy to learn and can have them creating their own apps and video games. Learning to code helps kids tackle logic and develop problem-solving skills and learn programing and maybe even a little physics. Coding also provides kids with a whole new level of expressing creativity. And coding many schools are starting to implement coding as part of the coursework.
You might be surprised to learn that the Minecraft game that your child is asking to play non-stop is actually planting the seeds for kids to create more than just box buildings.
Encouraging kids to code isn’t just a fun pastime. It is quickly becoming a necessity skill. According to Pew Research, about half of the highest-paying American jobs now require some coding knowledge. But our tech skills are lacking: 15-year-olds in the United States ranked 38th out of 71 countries in terms of math skills, according to the Program for International Student Assessment.
So, learning to code is both fun and useful for your child’s future. Here are some sites to check out for getting your kids started.
Known for its extensive and challenging math games, Khan Academy also has basic programming tutorials that teach kids how to build graphics, animations, interactive visualizations and more.
Designed by MIT students and aimed at children ages 8 to 16, this easy-to-use programming language lets kids build almost anything they can dream. A creative learning community with 21,437,911 projects shared (as of this post).
A non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science. They offer tutorials for over 100 one-hour computer science activities with coding lessons available for all ages and interests. Code.org is supported by generous donors including Microsoft, Facebook, the Infosys Foundation, Google, Omidyar Network, and many more.
Inspired by Scratch's snapping blocks system, this software allows users to create simple games for iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, Linux and Mac systems. If your child is serious about it, there are paid pro plans that come with advanced functionality.
Like many popular coding programs, Tynker works with interlocking blocks of code, making coding language accessible to beginners. Intro courses here are FREE, but classes jump into the paid category after that, costing $50 per course (discounts apply). Classes are broken down into recommended-age categories, making it easy for mom and dad to determine where kids should begin.